Since the start of Israeli statehood in 1948, the country has been in constant conflict with its Arab neighbors and the Palestinian population living within and immediately outside her borders. At the conclusion of the Yom Kippur War in 1973 (the fifth time Israel had been invaded in fifteen years), the international community began to look for a diplomatic solution to prevent perpetual war. World powers, specifically those in the West, agreed that any successful proposal would hinge on three key principles: Any agreement would, one, preserve Israeli statehood; two, establish a Palestinian state neighboring Israel; and, three, ensure long term peace in the region for all stakeholders involved. Out of these initial conversations materialized the “Two State Solution”—a call to split Israel using its pre-1967 borders into a Jewish state and a Palestinian state in exchange for an official recognition of Israel’s right to exist by its anti-Semitic, war-hungry neighbors. The Two State Solution has been embraced for over 40 years by our nation’s foreign policy establishment and presidents both blue and red. However, consistent adversarial action by Palestinians and aggression by theocratic neighbors reveal the Two State Solution to be impossible, and as such, it should no longer be treated as a serious diplomatic solution. Israel, as well as the United States, should discontinue trying to make peace with those who don’t believe in Israel’s right to exist, and the U.S. should reaffirm the safety and sovereignty of one state, one Israel.
The first—and also the smaller—complication with the Two State Solution stems from the middle east nations in close proximity to Israel who, since 1948, have largely seen eye to eye on only two things: their shared sharia law and common hatred for Israel. Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia have all taken their turn undermining Israel internationally, funding Israel’s enemies and attacking Israel directly over the past 60-plus years. Even worse, the callously weak foreign policy of President Obama has inspired Iran, and to a lesser extent Syria, to get more antagonistic toward Israel: Iran’s “Supreme Leader” has committed to wiping Israel off the map in the next twenty-five years and, freshly funded with $150 billion from the Obama administration, that goal is unfortunately far more attainable. While many Middle East nations (most notably, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt) have warmed to the idea of a Jewish state, the two state solution cannot work without a unified Arabic belief in Israel’s right to exist. It takes only one nation to undermine any agreement by funding, inspiring and protecting the Muslim agitators and aggressors who prevent peace. The diverse factions of anti-Israel groups in the region (from Hezbollah to the government of Iran) require staunch, unified support of Israel’s right to exist in order for the Two State Solution to guarantee peace. Until the Arab nations unite as supporters, rather than fighters, of a Jewish state, Israel should walk away from the Two State Solution.
The second and larger complication with the Two State Solution is the people sitting directly across from Israel at the negotiating table: Palestinians. Recently, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas decided to abandon the Oslo Agreement and stop honoring peace agreements with Israel. The increasing influence of Hamas in the Palestinian Authority has pushed Abbas and his leadership team to be more radical, aggressive and demanding in how they approach relations with Israel. Secondly, the Palestinians have continued to be violent agitators, attacking the Israeli citizenry with weapons from rockets to knives. In a tragic attempted execution last week, a Palestinian thug stabbed Israeli parents in front of their children. The important takeaway, however, is that this behavior isn’t new but rather consistent—Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are at a standstill largely because a coalition of religious fanatics and Palestinian bourgeoisie literally don’t believe Israel has any right to exist. They write it in their press. They teach it to their kids. The Palestinian leadership simply hasn’t shown the desire, or at least the ability, to commit their greater constituency to support Israeli statehood. Therefore, the Two State Solution is simply a trap for Israel—ceding land and sovereignty to the Palestinians only helps to prepare the enemy for its eventual invasion in an attempt to seize the remainder of “its” land.
To conclude, there’s one last reason Israel should no longer entertain the Two State Solution—it’s called victory. For 60-plus years, Israel has been invaded and pummeled by national jihadi fronts. Israel has never invaded another nation (it’s armed forces are defense forces) and has expanded in size only after seizing the land it gained through fending off armed offenders. The nations and the people who want Israel to cede land must remember that Israel wouldn’t be the size it is without their own aggressive actions. Decisions have consequences. War creates drastic changes. Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinians and the like all made conscious decisions to try to wipe Israel off the map—and Israel owes nothing to those nations for defending herself.
Max Schreiber is a Pratt senior. His column runs on alternate Wednesdays.